Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pan Roasted Potatoes to rival French Fries

One of the email groups I belong to was debating about making snacks with Ragi(Finger Milet). One of the members had only heard of ragi dosai and had never seen or tasted ragi vadais, few others were shocked that he had not heard of ragai vadai because it is a popular snack in the Kongu region. Finally an uneasy truce arose whereby it was decided that people who live on one side of the river (Cauvery) were familiar with the snack while those on the other side of the river have not heard of it. Well anyway I live on the same side of the river and had not tasted the snack till I came over here and tasted it at a friend's house. I also had them at our friend's house on our recent visit to Chicago. They are the most tasty, crunchy snack and difficult to stop eating once started. They can even pass off as health snack don't you think since they are made from the grain of the moment Ragi. I will be making this snack soon! soon! I found a pack of Ragi Murkku at the Indian store and they tasted really great - another guilt free snack :)

The same conversation also answered another question, the difference between vadai and pakoda. Both are made, kind of the same way with ground lentils or flour mixed with onions, green chilies and deep fried. The way to tell them apart is from how the dough is prepared. The deep friend snack is called a "Vadai" only when the dough is made by grinding a lentil or a cereal and those made with flour is either called pakoda or bonda. Makes sense.

Now on to the recipe,
These pan roasted potatoes are a big hit with the kids. So much so they were considered tastier than the McDonald's fries. This is probably one of those rare occasions I had any sort of victory against mighty McD! Felt good. The reward is to make these any chance I get. They are great side for any rice dish and come in handy during any meal. Finally after many trials and errors arrived on Russet potatoes as the best kind of potatoes for making pan fried potatoes. For those that are not familiar with Russet potatoes, any potato with a thick skin works.


Pan Roasted Potatoes
Serves : 4-5

1. 2 Russet Potatoes (or any large sized potatoes)
2. 3/4 tbsp sambhar powder (or a combination of red chili,coriander and cumin powder)

3. seasonings: cumin 1/4 tsp, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds and a few curry leaves)
4. 2 tsp turmeric powder
5. 1/2 tbsp oil
6. salt to taste

1. Scrape the skin of the potato, cut in half, make thin slices lengthwise and then cut across into small pieces
2. Heat oil in a wok and heat half the oil and add the seasonings, when the mustard pops add the potatoes.
3. saute for a few minutes and add the turmeric powder continue to saute.
4. Close the lid and let the potatoes get almost cooked.
5. Now add the sambhar powder and mix.
6. Add the remaining oil and continue to saute till the desired crunchiness is reached.

Goes well with pretty much anything. It tastes even better the next day after a few minutes in the microwave.

This will be an entry to Food in Colors - FIC Yellow an event started by sunshinemom of Tongue Ticklers.


  1. Hi,
    first time in ur blog.I haven't tried potatoes with fries...will try soon

  2. Indo, I hadn't heard of ragi vadai until a blog reader mailed me about it. :)

    Panfried Potatoes? :) MMmmmmmmmmmm!

  3. Wow, that looks delish!!!!! I love,love,love fries... but I have to stay away from potatoes for a while... :(

  4. All that talk of vadais and bondas is making me faint with hunger :D
    The potatoes look so good! I'd love to eat them as a side with yogurt-rice or dal-rice.
    I know I am a few days later, but the wishes are heart-felt: wishing you and your family a wonderful new year ahead!!

  5. aah that is so mouthwatering. love potatoes of all veggies!

  6. I am hungry after that discussion!! I too love potatoes this way - they are definitely better than the fries and the slight browning makes it quite crisp and addictive! Thank you for the entry:)

  7. Thats ultimate way of eating potatoes,and sambhar pwdr???thats one combination i wud love to try :-)

  8. Have you tried brushing them with little olive oil and putting them in the oven ? they come out great but I have only tried with red potatoes skin on

  9. Sandeepa I do that all the time. This comes in handy when I don't want to crank up the oven and want it done quick. I actually like this better.

  10. looks so delicious and mouth-watering.

  11. Looks good Indo,
    I make them just with chilli powder and salt. My daughters fav too.

  12. happy new year, dear indo. these fries would even be great with parsnips or sweet potatoes.

  13. Potatoes are a favorite in our family and thanks for the idea of Russert Potato. I will keep an eye on them next time.

  14. Best wishes for a happy, peaceful and prosperous new year.
    Love potatoes, and I make them so many ways! :)

    This is one of them, but I always cut them into chunks, though.

  15. Bee, parsnips is something I have been wanting to try. Let me see if I can find them at the store.

  16. I am puzzled too when some say "you are from Mysore and you don't this?!" Every home has different cuisine which is usually what our women folk cook at home. Even though Raagi rotti and Mudde is familiar to me, never tried anything else with this. Raagi chakli and vade sounds great to me, make some and post! :))

    School started for the son, but Trisha is still hanging around at home until 20th when college starts. She is awaiting "yes or no" from Chapel Hill U in 2 weeks, hope she makes it.

    We love french fries, looks yum. I spice up the frozen chips we get at the store.I know, I am lazy! :D


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